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Brooklyn Diocese: 2 Retired Priests Credibly Accused Of Sex Abuse

August 13, 2019 - 4:10 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Diocese of Brooklyn says sexual abuse allegations made against two retired priests have been deemed credible.

In a news release Tuesday, the diocese announced the complaints against retired Father Charles White, 79, and retired Father Hugh Byrne, 89, were brought forward to a review board, considered and believed to be true.

White is accused of sexually abusing a minor between 1974 and 1978 while serving at American Martyrs Church in Queens. The allegations were made in March 2018 and while investigating the claim, the review board reopened a complaint made against him, dating back to 1999, was also deemed credible.

Byrne is also accused of sexually abusing a minor between 1971 and 1973, when he was serving at Holy Ghost Parish in Brooklyn – which has since been renamed Holy Spirit Parish.

The allegation was brought against him in 2017 and while investigating, the review board found another accusation made in 2006 that accused him of sexual abuse in 1996 that was believed to be true.

As a result of the investigations, White, who was ordained on May 29, 1965, and Byrne, who was ordained on June 2, 1962, have been removed from public ministry.

The two are not permitted to celebrate mass publicly, cannot exercise any public ministry and cannot live in a parish residence.

Their names will also be added to the list of credibly accused priests, which the diocese has published online.

The names of the accusers were not released to the public.

The announcement comes one day before the Child Victims Act is set to take effect in New York State. The Catholic Church is among the organizations anticipating a flood of lawsuits as victims are given a one-year period to file civil suits against their abusers and the organizations that protected them, regardless of when the abuse took place.